What’s your story? How did you start your art or photo journey?

It was last year that I decided to try my hand at art. My husband said I needed to retire and find somthing to do. He knew that I had been dragging my art supplies 20+ years every time I moved and I kept saying I wanted to paint my pictures (see some of my photos).  The problem was, I didnt know which medium to try. I have watercolors, oil tubes, acrylic tubes, pastels and sketch pencils. I wanted to try them all, but didnt want to be a jack of all trades. I went to the local library and “ohhhhed and ahhhhed” at all the the great library books. I had no idea what mixed media was so I borrowed a book called Abstracts in Acrylic & Ink by Ohl, Jodi. The book was insightful since it took an approach to mixed media, and introduced me to types of materials, paint mixing, priming the canvas, and the painting process. The book also demonstrated the use of ink (which I had no idea that you could pour ink), with acrylics. I highly recommend the book. The painting was my rendition of the demonstartion from the book. It’s 11×14 canvas board and Daler Rowney Acrylic Sampler to complete the painting.  Although I am sure you can use any acrylic paints. I didnt have pourable ink for the splatters, so I used acrylic for the splatters and a marker to define the buildings.

Unfortunately, I am a messy painter so I look just like the canvas. Rarely do I take out my brushes, but I will when I want to finish a piece in a few hours.  Since then, I have switched to Color Pencil art, which is a slow medium,  with an occasional visit back to acrylics.  I am a little impatient so it’s nice to get a piece done quickly in acrylic paints.  I only came across the color pencil when I saw a painting that  looked similar to watercolor.  I did a few Facebook searches and found amazing artists in the medium.  It’s been a difficult for the media to make it’s impact in the art world, but the community of artists have grown to respect the artists who choose to work with color pencil.

If you get the book, feel free to post your painting demonstrations. I would love to see them.  Also, I would also love to hear your story!

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Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain, Challenge #1

This is my first challenge taken from the book, Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards. I’ve heard quite a lot about this book from many artists who have recommended the exercises. Basically, the author teaches you how to think (and not think) when drawing, but also teaches you the techniques to draw. In short, it teaches the approach and the techniques. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain works on the premise that the right side of the brain is more suited for drawing, and teaches you how to engage it for drawing purposes. I just read the first chapter and the author is suggesting that I draw a self-portrait, a hand and a picture of someone I know by memory.

There probably is validation about the right side of the brain taking over your creative side when you least expect it. I drew the picture of a giraffe while on the phone talking to my mother. This was my first drawing ( though I copied it from a picture, and later tried my hand at color pencil). This experience led me to believe that I must have some artistic ability.

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Too bad I did not hear about the book before I started my art endeavor. But, I have high hopes of seeing improvement in my art. You can decide to get the book and follow the  the exercises, or just do a pre-drawing of your hand, a self-portrait and a friend by memory, please feel free to share.  I’ll post my pre-draw hand, self portrait and someone I know once I complete it on this post next week…or sooner when I get it done! Below are the materials you need: 

  • Graphite pencil
  • Mirror
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Masking tape to hold your paper
  • Drawing board
  • Paper (stack it in a group of three for padding)
  • An hour to sit down and draw!

Betty Edwards, the author indicates your drawing may not be admirable, but we should remind ourselves that this is a pre-draw before instruction!

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Okay…don’t laugh, but I decided to get this done tonight.  Therefore, below is my completed exercise.  I am pleased with my pre-instruction face and hand, but I definitely do not do bodies well.  Hope you do a better job than I did!